Bali – Paradise Of Indonesia

Posted On November 28, 2009 

White sand and the blue sea amidst mountains with active and dormant volcanoes, deep jungles that a variety of birds and animals inhabit under the sunshine, agricultural, rice-producing lands stretching to the north and south of the volcanoes,  a culture, the roots of which go deep into the ancient times, a galore of temples and the elephant safari, fire dances and water sports in the Indian Ocean, delicacies like kaki lima, all this and more is what makes Bali one of the most coveted islands in the world.

Bali islandLocation

The island of Bali, to the south of the Equator by 8 to 9 degrees, spreads over 5,620 square kilometers in the east of Java. Bali belongs to the group of Sunda Islands in Indonesia and is the first among them. This island is situated between Java and Lambok. To its north is the Java Sea and to its south is the Indian Ocean. Bali is divided into three areas of water – The North Bali that runs along the Buleleng coast, the East Bali Sea along the coastline of Karangasem, Klungkung and Gianyar and the West Bali Sea along the coastlines of Badung, Tabanan and Jembrana.

When to visit

The time around June to September is best to visit Bali as temperatures are the coolest during these months. December/January are peak tourist season as well because of Christmas and New Year eve’s celebrations, even though its hot and humid around this time, as it is also the middle of the rainy season.

While the rainy season lasts from October to April, there are slight chances of rains throughout the year. February to April is hot and humid and not good for a trip to Bali.

How to reach

Bali has direct flights to its airport at Denpasar, the Ngurah Rai International Airport, 13 kilometers southwest of Denpasar, from almost all parts of the world. By flight, it’s 1.5 hours away from Jakarta, 2.5 hours away from Singapore and about 3 hours away from Perth. Tourists from USA or Canada or Europe have to change their flights, depending on the airline they are travelling in.

Renting a motorbike or a scooter is the cheapest way to tour the island, private taxis and tourist shuttles the most convenient. Bemos or small vans too are good.

Bali AttractionsElephant Cave

The unique Balinese Kecak dance at the cliff top temple of Pura Ulu Watu, at the southwestern tip of Bali, is a must watch. The popular Goa Gajah or the Elephant Cave carved into a cliff face in the town of Ubud is a major attraction that dates back to the 11th century.


The Hindu temples of Bali, like the Besakih Temple Complex with 20 temples on the Mount Agung volcano and the Goa Lawah Bat Cave temple at the east coast of Bali, which also is a funeral site, are other tourist attractions here. Tanah Lot is a seaside Bali temple, pretty at sunset. The Pura Ulun temples on the shores of Lake Bartan, up in the mountains at the center of Bali is worth a visit too.

Each village in Bali is supposed to have three temples, temple of origin, the village temple and of the temple of dead. Most prominent of the temples here are the nine-directional temples or (the kayangan jagat) meant to protect the islands from evil forces.  One such temple is the Uluwatu temple at the southern tip of Bali.

Some of the seven directional temples are the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Pura Pasar Agung and the Pura Lempuyang Luhur.

All these temples are designed differently, though with common features like three courtyards or a bale, a gazebo pavilion and are meant to serve a particular function.

Bali Bomb MemorialMonuments

Among the monuments here is the Bali Bomb Memorial on Jalan Legian in Kuta that will remind you of innocent people who lost their lives in the 2002 bomb attacks. To commemorate the Balinese fight against the Dutch in the early 2oth century, called the puputan or the suicidal fight to death, there are monuments in Klungkung in east Bali and the other in Puputan Park at Denpasar.

Among the royal palaces, there is the Taman Gili palace in KlungKung on the east coast of Bali, with only the garden to boast of now.  Gitgit waterfalls make for a spectacular scene.


Of course, visit to Bali is incomplete without the visit to its beaches. South Bali’s long peninsula has the Kuta-Legian beaches. Most of the tourists prefer staying around these beaches.

Just north of the Kuta beach is the area of Seminyak with beaches were you can laze around.

Towards the north of the island is the Lovina beach with a calm sea. The beach here is often described as ‘black sand’, because of the volcanic basalt. A dolphin structure marks the centre of this beach.

The Sanur Beach, on the east coast of South Bali, is one of the first beaches to be developed as a resort. Because of the 100 yard reef that breaks the wave, water here lap gently which makes it excellent for swimming, wind surfing and paddle boating.  You could also play volleyball or sun bath on this flat wide beach. A number of shops and eating joints right on the beach keep you close to it all the time.

UbudMonkey Forest Road Bali

In the valleys up in the central mountains is Ubud, a collection of what once were villages. At the intersection of its two roads, The Monkey Forest Road and the Jalan Raya road is the former palace of the rulers of Ubud, where you can spot Barong dance performances and the art market. The Monkey Forest Road leads to teh Monkey Forest Sanctuary which also has a temple of dead. The other road takes you to the west of Ubud’s centre and has a number of art galleries like the Symon Art Zoo.

Ubud also has a number of museums that display the work of local artists and of international ones who were strongly connected to Bali. Many sites like the Goa Gajah are in proximity to Ubud. Rafting too is what you can do here.


Volcanoes are of course the prominent features of this Indonesian island. The 3, 142 meter high Mount Agung volcano in east Bali is dormant since 1963. Mount Batur is fairly active and can be climbed up to in about 2 hours.

Forest and rice fields

Most of the coastlines are beaches except for the Mangrove forest in the South East and the Belkit peninsula.  Rice fields away from the coast make beautiful rural scenery

With abundance of natural beauty, religious places, various expressions of arts and a rich history and culture, Bali remains a sought after tourist destination, even after the bombings of 2002 and 2005. It isn’t surprising given its panoramic magnificence, that Bali is called the Paradise of Indonesia.

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